Colombo and Galle are connected by two roads. The Southern Expressway, 125 kms long, extremely scenic – you must take this road should you have time in your hand. We however, were short on time. Plus, we wanted to visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatching Centre, and so we took the Old Highway that goes along the coast of Sri Lanka from via Hikkaduwa, Bentota.
You have the sparkling blue Indian Ocean on your left as you head north through an extremely well laid out stretch. On the way, we found quite a few towns that looked like tourist-towns. Bentota is definitely one of them. Our guide-cum-driver, Shushanta, told us that this part of Sri Lanka had suffered severe damage during the tsunami of 2006. There is a memorial too, of tsunami victims, which tell the tale of the havoc wrecked by the ferocious waters. For most parts though, we zoomed by beautiful little towns. Traffic is sparce until the fag end when you start approaching Colombo.
The Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, is a little more than an hour away from Galle. Famous for its Olive Ridley and Green Turtles, the keepers of the hatchery take you on a 30-45 minute tour of the place explaining to you the life cycle of the turtles and what they do to conserve the nesting sites, how they help in keeping the eggs warm and enable their hatching. Very informative, for young and old, alike. The fees are nominal and have to be paid at the entrance.
We also stopped by for lunch at the Amal Restaurant, very close to Bentota. The restaurant is famous for its sea-food. You are taken to the in-house tanks where you can choose the fish you want to eat. The chef offers a range of options depending on the style you may like. We settled for traditional Sri Lankan which choosing the crab and the prawns. Spread out in sprawling grounds, they can accommodate quite a few diners at one time. But go during peak hours, and be prepared to wait for a good 30-45 minutes before your food arrives. Food is a killer though. If around this part of Sri Lanka, and not dined here, know you have missed something…
By the time we arrived in Colombo, it was already 5pm; we had an 11pm flight to catch back to India. And one of the most important part of our Sri Lanka tour was still left. Shopping! Which is why, as soon as we stepped into Sri Lanka, we went on a whirlwind tour of the main city to get the things I needed to carry back home as memories from Sri Lanka.
P.S: For a complete Sri Lanka itinerary and tour details, read — Best Itinerary & Blogs for Sri Lanka Road Trip